Skip to content

Research Methods

The Role of Site Visits in Software Engineering Teams

A large number of Software Engineering teams are virtual, which are characterised by various types of distances such geographical, culture, temporal, and knowledge. Such distances can cause a number of small and big challenges that lead sub-optimal development teams or event project failures. Software engineering researchers and practitioners have been researching and debating the cost and benefits of site visits for enabling software development teams to spend time together in order to get to know each other professionally and personally. It is argued that such visits result in establishing and growing trust that is important for successful teams. However, software development managers always find it hard to make a strong enough case for investing such visits. We have carried out a longitudinal case study focused on the socio-ethnical dynamics and potential benefits of site visits in terms of enhanced trust and cooperation among team members who came from entirely different regions, culture, region, and socio-economic background. Our study has found very useful insights for software development managers and researchers. We are sharing the details of our study through the pre-print copy of our paper, whose abstract is provided here.

Read More »The Role of Site Visits in Software Engineering Teams

Knowledge Sharing in Globally Distributed Teams

Globally distributed software engineering has become a norm of getting software developed. Whilst there are several potential benefits of getting software teams working around the clock while being located around the World – so-called follow the sun strategy -, there are several challenges in making such teams successfully work together. Communication, coordination, and collaboration are some of the key areas of challenges of global software development – the challenges in these areas either result from or lead to challenges of sharing knowledge – contextual, technical, personal.  Software engineering researchers and practitioners always seem to be interested in this area as the challenges of knowledge sharing usually lead to project failure and teaming problems.  We are recently published an extensive literature review on knowledge sharing challenges and solutions in global software development. Here is the pre-print copy of our paper, whose abstract is provided below for the interested readers.

Read More »Knowledge Sharing in Globally Distributed Teams

A New Approach to Identifying Security Requirements

We are delighted to announce that our ongoing collaboration with researchers from Lancaster University and University of Leicester has resulted in an approach to eliciting security requirements. The approach has been published in a recently accepted paper in the premier software engineering conference, the International Conference on Software Engineering to be organised in Austin, USA in 2016. The title and abstract of the accepted paper are: Discovering “Unknown Known” Security Requirements:Read More »A New Approach to Identifying Security Requirements

Research Methods for Software Engineering Students

The Software Engineering community is increasingly recognising the value of empirical evidence to support research and practice. Empirical evidence provides a means to evaluate the utility of promising research areas and to help practitioners to make informed technology adoption decisions. Hence, there is an increasing need for providing software engineering researchers and practitioners with appropriate knowledge and training in different methods and techniques to design, execute, analyze, and report empirical research. Software Engineering degree programs (both undergraduate and postgraduate) are expected to have high quality courses on Research Methods for imparting appropriate knowledge and skills of designing, connecting, analysing, and reporting empirical studies. There are an increasing number of books and articles on research methods, however, many Software Engineering degree programs appear to find it difficult to come up with a high quality course that can impart the knowledge, understanding, and skills of carrying out both quantitive and qualitative research a wide variety of topics in Software Engineering. Based on several tutorials We are also working on designing and running a course on research methods for our Software Engineering students. Read More »Research Methods for Software Engineering Students

Visiting Software School at Fudan University, China

During my recent visit to China, I visited the Software Engineering Laboratory, Software School at Fudan University in Shanghai. It has always a great pleasure visiting Professor Xin Peng and his team who are conducting an excellent research on challenging and important topics of Software Product Lines, Software Maintenance and Evolution, and Requirements Engineering. This was my second visit to the group and I always find quite useful and important research threads being followed by different graduate students and academic staff associated with the laboratory under the direction of Professor Xin Peng. I was also invited to give a talk to the group. I chose to present our work on privacy in mobile devices and data exfiltration challenges and countermeasures using Evidence Based Software Engineering. This work is ongoing and we are continuing updating the work on privacy issues in mobile computing and now this work would have collaborators from Open University UK. The abstract of the talk can give some ideas about our ongoing work in these areas:Read More »Visiting Software School at Fudan University, China